A Large Language Model Enhanced Conversational Recommender System

11 Aug 2023  ·  Yue Feng, Shuchang Liu, Zhenghai Xue, Qingpeng Cai, Lantao Hu, Peng Jiang, Kun Gai, Fei Sun ·

Conversational recommender systems (CRSs) aim to recommend high-quality items to users through a dialogue interface. It usually contains multiple sub-tasks, such as user preference elicitation, recommendation, explanation, and item information search. To develop effective CRSs, there are some challenges: 1) how to properly manage sub-tasks; 2) how to effectively solve different sub-tasks; and 3) how to correctly generate responses that interact with users. Recently, Large Language Models (LLMs) have exhibited an unprecedented ability to reason and generate, presenting a new opportunity to develop more powerful CRSs. In this work, we propose a new LLM-based CRS, referred to as LLMCRS, to address the above challenges. For sub-task management, we leverage the reasoning ability of LLM to effectively manage sub-task. For sub-task solving, we collaborate LLM with expert models of different sub-tasks to achieve the enhanced performance. For response generation, we utilize the generation ability of LLM as a language interface to better interact with users. Specifically, LLMCRS divides the workflow into four stages: sub-task detection, model matching, sub-task execution, and response generation. LLMCRS also designs schema-based instruction, demonstration-based instruction, dynamic sub-task and model matching, and summary-based generation to instruct LLM to generate desired results in the workflow. Finally, to adapt LLM to conversational recommendations, we also propose to fine-tune LLM with reinforcement learning from CRSs performance feedback, referred to as RLPF. Experimental results on benchmark datasets show that LLMCRS with RLPF outperforms the existing methods.

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